It’s an all too familiar story: you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it.
You want (and need!) to be more productive and get more done, but clutter is everywhere and getting in your way. It may be physical clutter, mind clutter, or a horrid combination of even more than that.
There is so much to do!
You need to get clients, plan programs, attend networking events, keep up with social media, follow up with people, write your newsletter, prepare marketing material, and the list goes on and on. All this in addition to the work you do with your current clients.
Running a business is not for the faint of heart. If it were easy everyone would do it!
You may not only be overwhelmed, but also have no idea what to do each day to move your business forward.
Here are three things you can do to get focused, clear the clutter and be more productive.
Unclutter Your Mind
Ever have those sleepless nights when your brain won’t turn off? I sure do!
You have a to-do list a mile long and no idea which to tackle first or in what order. Everything is important but your mind feels chaotic and out of control.
In this state you’re easily distracted and can end up on Facebook (I’m not the only one, right?).
Instead, let’s start here.
First, do a brain dump. Write down everything you need to get done in whatever order the items occur to you.
Now create an overall plan by reordering the list into priorities and things that have a deadline. Good. That’s a start, but it’s not the whole enchilada. Next, it’s important to break down the tasks you’ve identified into small, achievable steps!
Now you can plug reminders into your calendar, being realistic about what you can get done and when. Identify which items you need help with or can outsource.
If you do tend to have nights when your brain won’t turn off the chatter, keep a notebook by your bed and jot down your thoughts. This will help you release them (for now) and relax enough to get some sleep.
Unclutter Your Day
Each day (preferably the night before,) look at your calendar and plan which three items are top priority. If possible, set your calendar to email you a daily agenda plus reminders before each task.
In the morning, choose the first task to get done — doing the highest priority item first is often a good strategy. Think about it this way: why, if it’s such a high priority, would you continue to let other things ‘bump’ it to the back burner? It doesn’t make sense. So commit to yourself and your business success by doing your high priority (and often the most difficult) tasks first. Also remember that revenue generating activities should always receive high priority.
Now it’s time to get to work on that first task. Set a time limit to get it done and set your timer. If the task will take longer than an hour, take a five minute break each hour to walk around, stretch and drink a glass of water.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly you get things done when you have a deadline!
Focus while you are working on each task: put your phone on voicemail and shut down any computer programs not needed for that task (including social media and email!)
Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain can only truly concentrate on one thing at a time, so stay focused and then reward yourself at the end of each task with a fifteen minute walk or something else you enjoy that will also re-energize you.
Unclutter Your Surroundings
Keeping your desk and office uncluttered will help clear your mind and enable you to focus on one thing at a time.
In your calendar, schedule fifteen minutes a day for filing and cleanup. Set a specific time for this daily activity; perhaps right before or after lunch, or before you end work for the day.
Go to the nearest dollar store and purchase a kitchen timer. At your daily cleanup time, set that timer for 15 minutes and start! You could even play some motivating music to keep you going. During those fifteen minutes you’ll do some filing, put away papers or whatever else you need to do to clear the clutter from your surroundings. You can do it for 15 minutes, right? When the time goes off, stop.
Within a few days you’ll be amazed at how much less clutter there is and how more organized you feel!
Besides, it’s wonderful to enter your office each morning with everything neat and tidy!
You’ll be more productive, have a clear plan for each day and be getting done the most important tasks that will help move your business forward.
Bonus Tip: Start a gratitude journal and each day write down the items you accomplish or at least made forward progress on. When you feel overwhelmed or in a slump, go back and read a few pages of this journal. When you remind yourself of previous successes and things you’ve accomplished, it’ll give you a boost of renewed energy to keep going!
If you aren’t sure how to prioritize your tasks, how to identify your top revenue generating activities, or would like some guidance with any of these steps to build your successful business, contact me today for a complimentary consultation. I’d love to meet you!